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Ed Sheeran

Māori teacher retention vital for healthy system

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Teachers unions say while they appreciate moves to increase teacher recruitment and training, the Government needs to get serious about retaining them.

The unions are considering joint industrial action later this month to push their claims.

Post Primary Teachers Association vice president Melanie Webber says 50 percent of high school teachers leave within five years, so the money spent training them is wasted to the system.

The problem is particularly acute with Māori teachers, especially Māori language speakers who have a wide variety of options outside the professions.

She says United States research into diversity in the classroom identified why that could be a problem.

"They were talking in terms of African American students who had a black teacher in primary school, and that increases greatly their likelihood of graduating, of going on to college. It's that idea of representation, you cannot be what you cannot see. And if we do not have really strong powerful young Māori teachers in there, it has an impact on everyone," Ms Webber says.

The unions are now balloting members, and primary teachers union NZEI Te Riu Roa is holding meetings with its members.







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